|notice the vegetation on the roof of Alkos Inn|
I can hear a cuckoo bird along the Krutinia River a few yards away, and closer by are cheeps, whistles, chirps, and whirring wings. I'm in the lake district, Mazury, a blessedly under-populated (of humans and cars) region of northeastern Poland. Lucyna brought us yesterday to this cleverly-designed inn, and it's been like heaven. It's 6 a.m. and she's still sleeping, but I'm on the terrace outside the room, looking at the trees on the slope down to the river. The sun is up somewhere behind me, and it's warm enough so that my flannel pants, fleece jacket, and green tea protect from the morning chill. This is the second time I've been in Poland, and because each time I've come during spring time, I (unlike most people, especially Jews) associate it not just with sad and cruel history alone but also with beautiful meadows, verdant fields and forests, blossoming chestnut trees, and reed-lined rivers. The background photograph on this blog is a view from the canoe yesterday in late afternoon.
I arrived on Friday afternoon at the Chopin airport in Warsaw, and, met by Lucyna, we took a taxi to the "service flat" owned by the Warsaw University of Social Sciences and Humanities (SWPS), the institution sponsoring this Fulbright Specialist visit, where we stayed the night.
|enhancing the pizza|
|it was love at first sight|
|the view from Lucyna's balcony|
|air vent disguised as a nest|
|Lucyna, ace canoer|
We took advantage of the terrific regional food with real taste: Lucyna hadfruit blintzes, I had kasha and spinach and extraordinary mushrooms. I know that does not sound exciting, but it was lip-smacking good and gave me Popeye-like energy for the strenuous exercise ahead. We hiked back to Alkos via the forest path the long way (getting lost twice) and then got into one of the inn's canoes for a paddle up the river. The Krutinia River was placid and gorgeous, and before long Lucyna (no coercion on my part, truly) admitted that she was enjoying canoeing and could see why I'm smitten by it.